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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Henshaw family come from? What is the English Henshaw family crest and coat of arms? When did the Henshaw family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Henshaw family history?

The Henshaw name has descended through the generations from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name comes from having lived in the settlement of Henshaw in Northumberland, or in the settlement of Henshaw in Prestbury, which is in the county of Cheshire. The surname Henshaw belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

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Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Henshaw has undergone many spelling variations, including Henshaw, Henshall, Henshawe and others.

First found in Cheshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Henshaw research. Another 139 words(10 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1628, 1673, 1663, 1608, 1679, 1663, 1618 and 1700 are included under the topic Early Henshaw History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 73 words(5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Henshaw Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Henshaw were among those contributors:

Henshaw Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Joshua Henshaw, who landed in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1652
  • Benj Henshaw, who landed in Virginia in 1662

Henshaw Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Charles Henshaw settled in Maryland in 1742
  • Benjamin and John Henshaw settled in Boston in 1768

Henshaw Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Vivian Henshaw, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1831
  • John and Joseph Henshaw settled in Philadelphia in 1840
  • Mrs. Henshaw, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851

Henshaw Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • John Henshaw, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750

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  • David Henshaw (1791-1852), 14th United States Secretary of the Navy
  • Henry Wetherbee Henshaw (1850-1930), American ornithologist
  • Alex Adolphus Dumfries Henshaw MBE (1912-2007), British award winning and record setting test pilot for Vickers Armstrong during the Second World War
  • Ernest Percival Henshaw (1870-1950), Australian politician, Member of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly (1982-1986)
  • Graham Henshaw (1936-2006), British botanist, an international expert in plant tissue culture and cryo-preservation, especially as applied to root crop plants like potato, sweet potato and cassava
  • John Henshaw (b. 1951), British Independent Film Award winning actor known for The Angels' Share (2012), Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1974 (2009) and Born and Bred (2002)
  • Jim Henshaw (b. 1949), Canadian actor, screenwriter and film and television producer
  • Melinda Henshaw (b. 1977), New Zealand yachtswoman who competed for New Zealand at the 2000 Summer Olympics
  • Mrs. Mabel Iris Henshaw, Canadian 2nd Class passenger from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking
  • Miss Mary Constance Henshaw (d. 1915), Canadian 2nd Class passenger from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking


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  1. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  2. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  3. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  4. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  8. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  9. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  10. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  11. ...

The Henshaw Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Henshaw Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 9 March 2015 at 09:13.

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